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Mack truck overturns, leaks fuel on I-75

WESLEY CHAPEL

Mack truck overturns, temporarily closes I-75

A tire blowout caused a Mack truck to hit a guardrail and overturn on southbound Interstate 75 Saturday afternoon, temporarily closing the highway.

Driver Prem Ramanand, 57, was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Troopers closed part of the interstate because of a fuel leak from the crash, which happened at 3:40 p.m. about a mile south of State Road 54 near Wesley Chapel.

The truck was southbound in the outside lane when the front left tire blew out, the patrol said. The truck swerved to the left, hit a guardrail and overturned, coming to rest in the median.

TAMPA

Water experts predict trouble as rivers trickle

Water authorities can't remember a September when the flow of the Alafia River trickled more slowly than this year. On a scale of 1 to 100, it's a 1.

The Hillsborough River isn't much better. It's a 2 out of 100.

That could have big consequences for water users throughout Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Water, which supplies the region's drinking water, can't pump water from either river because their flows are too slow. So it's relying on withdrawals from the Tampa Bypass Canal and output from its desalination plant to meet demand.

All of that water is going to consumption, not the C.W. Bill Young Reservoir, which helps get Tampa Bay through the dry spring season. That's unusual for this time of year, when the region's wet season usually peaks. This year, it peaked in August.

September's rainfall in Central Florida was about 5 inches less than average. These lows are exacerbated by a two-year drought.

"I can't remember a worse time for the Alafia," said Tampa Bay Water's demand management coordinator, Dave Bracciano.

On Friday, the flow was only 37 cubic feet per second. The last time it was that slow right after the rainy season was in 1944, Swiftmud reported.

Times staff

Mack truck overturns, leaks fuel on I-75 10/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 11:34am]
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